Graduate Programs

Research Opportunities

Research OpportunitiesMentored laboratory research is the most critical part of the training and the strength of our program. This is the primary mechanism by which the philosophy of research is imparted to new scientists. In this arrangement, the major professor and the trainee interact intensively, most often on a daily basis, to define a research hypothesis and the appropriate experiments to test the hypothesis. Together the major professor and graduate student trainee develop a directed course of research. Trainees are expected to conduct original research leading to a significant contribution to knowledge in the trainee's area of emphasis and culminating in publication in leading international scientific journals. This publication is required for and constitutes the PhD dissertation. The final PhD examination is preceded by a public presentation of the research, attended by the faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows, followed by an oral examination that is primarily a defense of the original research, but may cover the general fields of knowledge pertinent to the degree. Grant writing skills are developed through the expectation that trainees submit their PhD proposal to an extramural funding agency.

The Program is highly collaborative with a central theme of investigation of microbial pathogens and their interaction with animal hosts and the environment. Emphasis are in the following integrated research programs:

  • Bacterial and Viral Respiratory Disease
  • Immunology: Innate Immunity, Immunogenetics, and Vaccine Development
  • Parasitic Infections
  • Persistent Viral Infections
  • Transmissible Spongioform Encephalopathies
  • Vector-borne Diseases
  • Zoonotic and Food-borne Pathogens